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Are handwritten Wills valid in Georgia?

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One of the more interesting questions I get about estate planning is whether handwritten Wills are valid in Georgia.  Handwritten Wills are valid in Georgia as long as they meet the statutory requirements for making a valid Will.  There’s nothing about a Will being handwritten that would necessarily make it invalid here in Georgia.  What I find most of the time though is that people confuse handwritten Wills with something called a holographic Will which is a type of handwritten Will.

Holographic Wills are not valid in Georgia and that is because a holographic Will is simply one that is in the handwriting of the Testator, the person who is making the Will.  It doesn’t meet the other statutory requirements for having a valid Will like having the appropriate number of witnesses, having testamentary capacity, things of that nature.  It is just simply written in the hand of the Testator.  Handwritten Wills otherwise though are valid here in Georgia as long as they meet those statutory requirements such as having the perfect number of witnesses and things of that nature.

I’ve personally helped several families probate handwritten Wills.  There’s nothing wrong with having a handwritten Will that would necessarily make it invalid in Georgia as long as it meets the other statutory requirements.

So, in short, handwritten Wills are valid in Georgia as long as they meet the statutory requirements for having a valid Will.  Holographic Wills, on the other hand, are not valid in Georgia so don’t be confused about those types of things.  And a holographic Will is simply one that is in the handwriting of the Testator.  It just doesn’t meet the other statutory requirements.  Holographic Wills are not valid in Georgia.  Handwritten Wills are valid in Georgia.

Marietta Estate Planning Lawyer

John P. Farrell, Esq.

Mr. Farrell is the author of Estate Planning for the Modern Family: A Georgian’s Guide to Wills, Trusts, and Powers of Attorney.  You can learn about his book here and learn more about John here.  Join the more than 1,000 people who subscribe to his Newsletter here.  Feel free to send John a message here.